Deer season may be over in Maryland, but lobbying season is well underway in Annapolis. Hunters and gun enthusiasts have held signs this week around the State House, protesting two bills that were debated in the House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Friday.
An overwhelming majority of people responding to a Baltimore Sun poll this week — a whopping 94% — called “Maryland’s ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines” “unconstitutional.” What’s more, 18,109 people responded to the “poll” published Tuesday, meaning about 17,000 responders objected to the new ban. This was not a real public opinion survey seeking a random sample of the population that would show what a representative group of Maryland citizens think of the new law. It was one of those pop quizzes made possible by the wonderfully interactive nature of the Internet.
Despite general agreement on the need for more mental health services to prevent gun violence, providers argue that the state’s psychiatric services are woefully underfunded and that the General Assembly has done little to address this problem. They were particularly shocked that the governor revoked $7.2 million of funding for mental health in his supplemental budget this week.
The debate and vote on a sweeping new gun control measure that establishes a stringent licensing regime for handguns reflected a sharp split between two different cultures in Maryland. One shuns guns as instruments of violence and the other embraces them as essential to freedom and safety.
A new Goucher College poll finds a slight majority of Marylanders (51%) oppose ending executions — even though many overestimate how often it is used and a majority says it does not deter murder and would prefer life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. An overwhelming majority of Marylanders — more than four out of five — support the major provisions of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s gun control proposal, despite the fierce opposition of a gun-owning minority that has flooded Annapolis hearing rooms.
The already heated debate over new gun control measures heats up as Gov. Martin O’Malley’s proposed new restrictions moves to the Senate floor on Tuesday.
In this 12-minute video, MarylandReporter.com pits Del. Mike McDermott, a Lower Shore Republican and police officer who opposes new gun licensing rules, against Vinny DeMarco, a long-time advocate for more gun control who heads Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.
The day after Gov. Martin O’Malley announced gun-control proposals that include licensing for all handguns, several hundred Marylanders protested at a Saturday rally in Lawyer’s Mall just outside the governor’s residence. The rally was one of at least two dozen in state capitals across the country as part of the quickly organized Guns Across America,